This week BBC published a really interesting story about Richard O’Brian’s thoughts on his own gender. He says “It’s my belief that we are on a continuum between male and female. There are people who are hardwired male and there are people who are hardwired female, but most of us are on that continuum and I believe myself probably to be about 70% male, 30% female.”
O’Brian is the writer of the Rocky Horror Show, and also played the role of Riff Raff in the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show. His work frequently examined wide ranges of gender expression, and directly flew in the face of conservative sexual attitudes. The revelation that his feelings about his own gender aren’t binary doesn’t come as a surprise to me.
The article covers a lot of transgender 101 information, but I like that it STARTS from a position of non-binary gender before discussing transgender rights and related issues. That’s a big improvement over the media’s usual “woman trapped in a man’s body” story.
Rocky Horror was a big part of my own transition process. The first time I introduced myself as a man was when I joined my local Rocky Horror floorshow cast. I went through a lot of my transition process during the nearly 3 years I was a cast member, and found a wonderfully accepting group of friends there. I know many other queer people with similar stories, finding Rocky fans to be a safe place to live the motto: “Don’t dream it, be it.”
Have you ever been to Rocky Horror Picture Show showings? Were you ever a cast member? Have there been other fan communities that became safe havens for you? Doesn’t Richard O’Brian have awesome legs?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.